Founding of the Tholanikunnel Family.
The Tholanikunnel Family has got only two hundred and fifty years of history. The unique aspect of its history is that the founder of the family Rev. Dn. Adai was not from India but from Edessa in Mesopotamia. Edessa was the birth place of the Syriac language and also in the early centuries one of the most important centres of the Christian church Edessa was blessed with a University for theological studies and other educational institutions, monasteries and cultural centres. The people in Edessa were therefore educated and civilized and they had perpetual relations with the outside world. The founder of the Tholanikunnel Family Rev. Dn. Adai reached Kerala in the year 1747 with the Armenian merchants as a translator. He knew very well Syriac, Arabic, Armenian and portugese languages. In Kerala he learned Malayalam also. During that period Palai was a main centre for spice trade. Many foreign merchants approached the King of Palai to buy the spices. The king was darely in need of a translator and the King found in Rev. Dn. Adai the best suitable person for translation. Thus Dn. Adai became an employee in the Palace of the King in Palai. During this time Dn. Adai established very good friendship with the leader of the army Tholanikunnel Mullu Panicker. Dn. Adai was not only a translator but also an orator and he used his free time to preach and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Gradually the Family of Mullu Panicker was attracted by the Christian faith and they were baptised and became Christian. When Madhavi the daughter of Panicker was baptised she got the baptismal name Mariam. When Panicker sought for a bridegroom for Mariam, he approached Dn. Adai and asked him whether he is ready to marry her. Dn. Adai was very happy to accept the proposal of Panicker and he married her in the year 1752. In 1753 Marthandavarman, the King of Travencore declared war against the King of Palai and defeated him. His major General Mullu Panicker was killed in the war. After the death of the father in law Mullu Panicker Dn. Adai and his family moved from Palai and settled in Ampakkadu near Koothattukulam. During this time the Catholicose of Tigris, Mor Baselios Sakralla was in Kerala and he was staying in St. Mary's Jacobite Church in Kandanadu. The Catholicose used several times the service of Dn. Adai for translation of speeches letters and bulls. H.B. Sakralla Mor Baselios ordained him as a priest in 1759 and appointed him as the vicar of the St. Johns Jacobite Church Vadakara. In 1761 a son was born to Fr. Adai and Mariam and he was named Markose. Thus the first generation of the Tholanikunnel family was formed including Rev. Fr. Adai his wife Mariam and their son Markose. In the year 1780 Fr. Adai died and was buried in Jacobite Syrian Church, kandanadu. After the death Fr. Adai hiswife Mariam and their son Markose moved to Palakuzha and stayed there Lated the Tholanikunnel family came forward to construct a church in Palakuzha and in 1785 a church was constructed in the name of St. John and it was known as Kappipally.
The second Generation
The second generation of Tholanikkunnel Family begins with Markose. In 1780 he married Smt. Annam, Daughter of Sri. Oonni from the Family of Mundamkonnana. Sri. Markose and Smt. Annam had two sons. The elder one called Chacko was born in 1783 and younger one Adai was born 1786.
The Third Generation
The Third Generation begins with Chacko. In 1805 Chacko married Njanjamma daughter of Mani from the family of Peringattuparampel in Mannathur. One daughter and five sons were born to the couples Chacko and Njanjamma. They were Annam, Markose (called Mani), Adai, Avarachen (Called Kora) Mathai, and Ulahannan. The daughter Annam was married in the year 1825 in the family called Madaparambel. The eldest son Mani and Family stayed in Puthenpura, the second son Adai later became priest and he and his family stayed in Pallippattu. The third son Kora and his family stayed in Kuzhalanattu. Forth son Mathai and family stayed in Palakuzha. The youngest son Ulahannan stayed with the parents in Kizhakkanchery. Their father chacko died in 1848 and was buried in St. John's church, Vadakara. On 2nd May 1849 their mother Njanjamma died and all preparations were made to bury her in her parish church, Vadakara. But Fr. Adai and his brothers had secretly decided to burry their mother in Mannathur and build a church in Mannathur. Thus the body was brought to the place where the present church is situated andburried her there and built a temporary chapel in the name of St. George and celebrated Holy Qurbono. That was the beginning of the St. George Jacobite Syrian Church Mannathoor and this historical event took place on 3rd May 1849. Later there emerged disunity and differences of opinion between Fr. Adai and his brothers. His eldest daughter was married to Fr. Yakob of Cheerathottam family in Pothanikkadu. Because of several reasons Fr. Adai moved from Mannathur to Pothanikkadu in 1865. He became the vicar of Ummanikkunnu Jacobite Syrian Church and served the church as such for 16 years. It is believed that the golden liturgical garment of the founder of the family was inherited by him and is kept in Umminikkunnu Jacobite Syrian Church. Fr. Adai had two daughters and eight sons. In 1890 Fr. Adai died and he was buried in the Eastern side of the courtyard of the Ummanikkunnu Church. In 1891 his wife Annam also died and buried in the same church.